The SJF is committed to supporting greater recognition of Jamaica’s rich culture and heritage and to sharing elements of Spanish culture with Jamaicans.
Seville Heritage Park and Exhibition Center
With its motto “Out of Many, One People”, modern-day Jamaica represents a rich blend of all the cultures that have inhabited the island. Nowhere is this more evident than in New Seville celebrated as the meeting point of four of the main cultures which have shaped Jamaica: Taíno, Spanish, African and British. Given such a rich history, the Government of Jamaica (GoJ) declared New Seville a national flagship heritage site in 2004 and entrusted the Jamaican National Heritage Trust (JNHT) with the responsibility of promoting the Seville Heritage Park.
The Park currently comprises a number of buildings in differing stages of renovation, as well as sites of archaeological interest. The most visible of the buildings are: the Great House, an Overseer’s House, a smaller Bookkeeper’s House as well as the Coach House. Within the wider grounds are a Sugar Factory, Copra Kiln, Pimento Barbecues as well as the (uncompleted) Peter Martyr Church. Additionally, there are two slave villages and four graves from which some of the earliest remains of enslaved persons have been recovered and studied in the Western Diaspora.
In 2009, New Seville celebrated 500 years of its foundation as the first Spanish capital of Jamaica and The Spanish-Jamaican Foundation (SJF) partnered with the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) and the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) to refurbish the New Seville Great House.
The SJF allocated JD5 million dollars towards the creation and installation of a state of the art, interactive exhibition that will make Seville Great House one of the most attractive historical museums in the wider Caribbean. This will make the site a major cultural, tourist and educational attraction and a benchmark for cultural tourism in Jamaica as well as the wider Caribbean.
The Great House is now re-opened for visitors and tours can be booked by calling (876) 972-2191 / 972-0665 / 972-9407, Fax:(876)972-1919, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Jamaica Heritage Trail
Beginning in 2008, The Spanish-Jamaican Foundation in collaboration with the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) and the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo.), began to erect attractive sign boards in a number of historically-significant sites. Linked to form a trail, the project also includes a Jamaican Heritage map and accompanying brochures which document the chronological impact of the Spaniards in Jamaica.
The Heritage Trail will soon be available online and age-appropriate lesson plans created in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and uploaded for use by teachers island-wide. It is hoped that the Heritage Trail project will encourage other entities, public as well as private, to similarly raise public awareness of noteworthy sites in their vicinity.
Annual Cultural Event Fundraiser
Music and dance are not only powerful mediums of expression worldwide, but also vital means of cultural preservation, creation and understanding. Since 2011, The SJF has partnered with the Embassy of Spain to stage an annual cultural event to raise funds for worthy Jamaican arts-related charities.
In 2011, the Ward Theatre Foundation of Jamaica was the recipient of the proceeds from a “Night of Flamenco.”In 2012, the recipient was the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts Foundation (EMCVPA) and the night of Jazz/Flamenco Fusion presented by the Spanish trio Colina, Peralta and Sambeat, facilitated the creation of JD1.5m worth of arts scholarships.